Los Lobos Rocks Out For The Kids

Not only is Los Lobos hitting the road with Los Lonely Boys for the month-long, "Brotherhood Tour," which kicks off tomorrow (July 18) in Portland, Ore., the group is prepping a children's album fille

Not only is Los Lobos hitting the road with Los Lonely Boys for the month-long, "Brotherhood Tour," which kicks off tomorrow (July 18) in Portland, Ore., the group is prepping a children's album filled with Disney classics for release in November.

"The conceptual framework is, we interpreted classic Disney songs like 'Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,' 'When You Wish Upon A Star' and 'I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song),'" saxophonist-keyboardist Steve Berlin tells Billboard.com. "There are no Elton John-era Disney tracks. But it came out really good, and we're all happy with it.

Los Lobos is now out of contract with longtime label Hollywood, but owed the company the Disney-themed record from the beginning. "It was built into the deal, and we never got around to it while we were signed to them," Berlin says. "So, they gave us our release and then also gave us a budget to do this album."

This isn't the first children's album foray for Los Lobos, which not only released the critically acclaimed 1995 album "Music for Papa's Dream" but contributed "I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" to the 1988 compilation "Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films." In fact, the latter track is currently getting stage time during the Los Lobos set.

"There's a bunch of stuff from the new kids record that sounds really good to me and that I'd love to be able to put in there," Berlin says. "The kids record doesn't sound like a kids record. It just sounds like Los Lobos playing funky old songs, so I imagine over time we'll probably be integrating some of those songs."

As for working on a follow-up to its last studio album, 2006's "The Town and the City," Berlin said the band isn't in a hurry.

"The way we compose is, nobody writes anything until there is a rationale for it," Berlin says. "So, we're not really even in the planning stages, but we're still trying to figure out what a record means anymore. The one thing I can assure you is that the next deal will not look like the last deal we signed. We've been signed to one label or another for all of these years and we own very little of our own music."

He adds, "I think whatever that next deal is, it has to come with our ownership. I don't think anybody at this point should carry on giving people ownership of the music they create. I just think that whole paradigm is dissolved, or it should be."